New on-line privacy rules for 2016: What can you & the government do to protect your family’s privacy?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Private_data-1Effective January 1, 2016, the State of California is enforcing new rules for law enforcement to gather personal data, and for manufacturers of devices and web-enabled services, such as smart televisions and parking security services. The aim of the legislation is to protect the on-line privacy and civil liberty of citizens. And while legislation provides some very important safeguards against the abuse of personal data provided by consumers and citizens, the most important privacy measures are learned and enforced at home. This is to provide an overview of the new on-line privacy laws, and reinforce the things we must do at home to protect privacy.

New CA on-line privacy rules reported by Data Protection Report.

  • Data breach notification is probably one of the most important things that needs to happen in order to help citizens and consumers be proactive to protect themselves from identity theft and other predatory crimes. The legislation, S.B. 570, calls for a more clear definition of the breach, including what happened, what information is involved, what they are doing and what you can do, as well as the size of the type to be no less than 10 point.
  • To protect civil liberties, there is a more stringent standard for law enforcement to request personal data from technology companies and from the devices. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), S.B. 178 requires a warrant and unlike the Federal ECPA, does not provide for law enforcement to issue a subpoena in order to gain access to personal data that is older than 180 days. By the same token, S.B. 34 includes information collected through Automated License Plate Recognition system data to be considered “personal information” and subject to data breach notification laws (referenced above).
  • To protect consumers, A.B. 1116 places restrictions on voice-recognition functionality such that there must be a notification to the user upon installation of the system, and the voice recordings collected by this feature may not be used to sell advertising.
  • And finally the encryption standard for products and services puts the burden for security is placed on companies that collect and store personal data as a part of their service.

On-line privacy house rules check list

Establish privacy expectations.  Most kids are growing up with a different expectation of privacy. They are comfortable sharing information on line. Private is personal stuff you keep from the world, i.e, publishing it on line, because not everyone in the world is trustworthy.

Parent as the guardian of child privacy. There is great confusion between secret and private, as the world can convince us and our children that kids need privacy from parents.  So it is imperative to clarify the difference between private and secret. Secrets tend to harbor risk, and bullies and pedophiles are counting on kids to keep risky conversations, content and relationships from their parents. Explain to your child that your job as the guardian is to respect their privacy, not grant it. This means that you will be privy to very personal information and can be trusted not to abuse that information by blabbing it to other people who don’t need to know, and/or using the information to micro-manage or judge them. If you witness something or come across something in your child’s on-line world that needs correcting, do it with a heart of a confident instructor – not a condemning judge. Your aim as the guardian is to teach them how to protect their own privacy.

Inventory personal and private data. Sit down with your children and compile a list of personal information. List everything from your name, social security number, your bank account number, how much money you have in the bank, where you go to school, your favorite hangout, to your favorite color, home address, phone number, names of siblings, disputes, accomplishments, social plans, family issues, parent issues, etc. Then go through the list of information and identify the data that is considered private. The aim is to help your child be more discerning about how much family business as well as personal data that can be used to steal identity, that can be used against you in the future. This would include taking pictures of a driver’s license, or any other events that reveals data points, such as a home address or a street name.

Family approved app list. Establish a family-approved app listing for every member of the family, that lists the apps each person is authorized to use based upon age-appropriate content, functionality and need. The purpose of the list is to educate your child that every app requires us to give up something, especially free ones, in the form of personal information and security. Discourage your child from using social media until 13 years, if possible, because all of the social media apps are adult swim (with adult content and exposure to all of the adult issues including bullying, addiction and exploitation). Select younger children’s apps with COPPA in mind. For ratings and recommendations about children’s apps and other media, go to: Common Sense Media. For more insights about setting and maintaining age-appropriate access to apps and devices, go to : Cyber Rites of Passage.


ABOUT:  Banana Moments Foundation is a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. The BMF mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all BMF proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your Donations are greatly appreciated.

Jodie Stevens, Hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM, with her cyber mom, Joanna Jullien. They talk cyber safety on Tuesday mornings.

Jodie Stevens, Hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM, with her cyber mom, Joanna Jullien. They talk cyber safety on Tuesday mornings.

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.

Jodie Stevens, hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM The Fish offers insights and lessons learned about faith and recovery from addiction. Check out her blog, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens, weekday mornings on the Family Morning Show.

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.